Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 2: Disneyland!

The magic continued on Day 2 in Disneyland.  I couldn't believe how easily so many childhood memories of this place came back as we walked through the park.  To now be making some of those same memories with my sweet, little family was, well, just special.
We started off in Fantasyland.  That place is always busy.  Compared to the peak season, I'm sure it was mild. But it was definitely the busiest place in the park.  We began with the classics: Dumbo, Snow White, Pinocchio, and  Alice and Wonderland.  
I don't take selfies ever, but when at Disneyland and trying to capture moments with my kids, I sure did.

Besides, if it's not just me in the picture it's not truly a selfie, right?
 Dumbo ride photo overload:


And Luke definitely wouldn't let us miss out on a carousel ride. 

While Nate and I quickly took a ride on the Matterhorn, Grandma took the boys on the tea cups.

Luke found HIS ride.
I don't know if he liked the ride or the lack of waiting in line better, but he practically earned himself a frequent rider card on those tea cups.

Even now if you ask him what his favorite ride with Grandma was he'll say in the cutest voice, "Tea cups wif Gamma."

We moved on to Small World (Nate's least favorite ride.  Who hates Small World?). Even though it was still early, we thoroughly enjoyed those eight minutes out of the heat.

We listened to a lot of Disney music before the trip, and 'It's a Small World After All' was one Luke kind of got attached to.  As we entered the tunnel and he could really hear the music he loudly shouted, "All Wurl! All Wurl!" 

 I loved watching Noah and Luke's eyes just take everything in. Pure excitement, even on Small World.

From there we moved on into Toon Town.  The first stop and first priority was to meet Mickey. 

And after that, we just stayed and played until we could tolerate the heat and lack of shade anywhere in that place no more.  So we rode Gadget's Go Coaster,
 hung out a while on Donald's boat,
 and climbed in as many cartoon cars as we could.

Luke especially liked this fire truck.

We took a break for lunch and rode the train over to New Orleans Square.  I don't remember that train from my childhood at all (Like the dinosaurs? I have no memory of that.) so it was fun to experience it with the boys.  Once we were on that side of the park we rode Splash Mountain, 
 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,
 Thunder Mountain Railroad,
 and Pirates of the Carribean.  We also, of course, didn't miss the Jungle Cruise, Tarzan's Treehouse, or Indiana Jones.  Noah even got to wake up Jose the Parrot to start the show in the Tiki Room, which he is still talking about.

Our time on that side of the park was just so fun.  Noah loved Splash Mountain.  I was a little nervous how he'd handle that fifty foot drop, but he almost immediately asked to go on it again -- so we did.  He goes back and forth between saying his favorite ride was Radiator Springs Racers, Splash Mountain, and Thunder Mountain Railroad. 

He can tell you all about the bats in the mine on TMR, the mountain goat you see on the right, and the dynamite explosions.  Noah was able to get in a few rides that day on TMR and a few more the next day as well.

Luke was a champ.

Along with the tea cups, he sure rode Winnie the Pooh a lot too.  Anytime one of us was taking Noah on Splash Mountain, Luke was over with Pooh.  There actually aren't a lot of rides he can't go on, but since we found ourselves on the fast, 'you have to be over 40 inches' rides a lot sweet Luke did his fair share of waiting and hanging out.   Sometimes a $6 bag of popcorn becomes a necessity when a little boy has to pass the time.

I consider it money well spent because it got him through a day and a half of waiting.  That little rascal had no interest in sharing it with any of us.

Going on the recommendation of a few friends and wanting to have one 'special' dinner while at Disneyland, we made a reservation at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue.

It was SO great!!!  The food was delicious.
 I've never seen our boys gnaw on bones quite like that. 
 Rib in one hand and cornbread in the other.  He was totally satisfied with his dinner.
Noah thought throwing his bones in a bucket when he was done was a pretty sweet idea. He just kept saying things like "I like this place." and "Chicken and ribs are my favorite." 
  Being silly is also his "favorite" a lot of the time.  Fine by me!
Along with the food, there was some fun cowboy singing and entertainment.  And I especially loved how quiet it was back there.  We were just kind of removed from all of the busyness and people traffic that fill the park for a while, which was surprising and a nice change.

The day ended far too quickly for my liking, and all of a sudden we were trying to squeeze in a ride on Peter Pan before the park closed.  It was probably the longest line we had encountered and thirty minutes seemed like an impossibility, especially for Luke who had reached the point of exhaustion.  After standing there for only a few minutes a sweet mom walked up to me and gave us a pass to get on the ride immediately for up to six people.  So off to the front we went!  Talk about a Disney angel at a time when we really needed it.  I was incredibly happy and also incredibly grateful.  We were also able to finish off the night with Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.  Noah 'drove' with Grandma and thought all of the twists and turns of the ride were pretty fun.

I'm pretty sure our boys were more exhausted and worn out on Tuesday night than they ever have been in their short little lives.  They really could take no more.  But I had to smile a bit after they both had major meltdowns and were finally asleep, because that exhaustion came accompanied with a day of immense fun and some of the most treasured, fantastic memories that this little family of ours has ever made.

Totally worth it.

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